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    California Builders Right To Repair Current Law Summary:

    Current Law Summary: SB800 (codified as Civil Code §§895, et seq) is the most far-reaching, complex law regulating construction defect litigation, right to repair, warranty obligations and maintenance requirements transference in the country. In essence, to afford protection against frivolous lawsuits, builders shall do all the following:A homeowner is obligated to follow all reasonable maintenance obligations and schedules communicated in writing to the homeowner by the builder and product manufacturers, as well as commonly accepted maintenance practices. A failure by a homeowner to follow these obligations, schedules, and practices may subject the homeowner to the affirmative defenses.A builder, under the principles of comparative fault pertaining to affirmative defenses, may be excused, in whole or in part, from any obligation, damage, loss, or liability if the builder can demonstrate any of the following affirmative defenses in response to a claimed violation:

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    Construction Expert Witness News and Information
    For Anaheim California

    California Court of Appeal Holds That the Right to Repair Act Prohibits Class Actions Against Manufacturers of Products Completely Manufactured Offsite

    A License to Sue: Appellate Court Upholds Condition of Statute that a Contracting Party Must Hold a Valid Contractor’s License to Pursue Action for Recovery of Payment for Contracting Services

    San Diego Developer Strikes Out on “Disguised Taking” Claim

    The Colorado Supreme Court holds that loans made to a construction company are not subject to the Mechanic’s Lien Trust Fund Statute

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    White and Williams Earns Tier 1 Rankings from U.S. News "Best Law Firms" 2017

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    With over 4500 engineering, construction, and builders standard of care related expert designations, the Anaheim, California Construction Expert Directory provides a single point of reference for construction defect and claims related support to construction claims professionals concerned with construction defect, scheduling, and delay claims. BHA provides construction related trial support and expert consulting services to the industry's leading construction practice groups, Fortune 500 builders, real estate investment trusts, risk managers, owners, as well as a variety of municipalities and government offices. Utilizing captive resources which comprise construction standard of care consultants, registered architects, professional engineers, and credentialed building envelope experts, the firm brings specialized expertise and local capabilities to the Anaheim region.

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    Construction Expert Witness News & Info
    Anaheim, California

    Industry Practices Questioned After Girder Fractures at Salesforce Transit Center

    April 10, 2019 —
    Attendees of a recent presentation on the earthquake-resistant structure of San Francisco’s Salesforce Transit Center—intended to provide a safe haven when the Big One hits—lauded the engineering of the 4.5-block-long hollow tube that supports the 1.2-million-sq-ft “groundscraper.” But there also was much talk of the project’s black eye, as a consequence of brittle fractures of the bottom flanges of two bridge-like built-up plate girders that span 87 ft over Fremont Street. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Nadine M. Post, ENR
    Ms. Post may be contacted at

    An Interesting Look at Mechanic’s Lien Priority and Necessary Parties

    May 13, 2019 —
    As regular readers of Construction Law Musings are well aware, I like to discuss mechanic’s liens. Whether it is their picky nature, the way court’s treat them or the soon to take effect changes in the form, mechanic’s liens are a topic near and dear to my heart as a construction attorney. This past month the Fairfax Circuit Court took on the intersection of mechanic’s lien priority under Virginia Code section 43-21 (the lien priority statute) and what constitute necessary parties that must be named in any enforcement suit. In Marines Plumbing, LLC v. Durbin, et al., the Court discussed an all too typical scenario. Marines Plumbing performed repair work on the defendants’ property and the defendants did not pay for the work. Marines Plumbing recorded a memorandum of lien and subsequently sued to enforce that lien. In filing its suit, Marines Plumbing failed to name the trustees and lender on a deed of trust securing the loan on the property. Needless to say, the Defendants moved to dismiss the action for failure to name necessary parties (lender and trustees). Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of The Law Office of Christopher G. Hill
    Mr. Hill may be contacted at

    Contractual Waiver of Consequential Damages

    January 21, 2019 —
    Contractual waivers of consequential damages are important, whether they are mutual or one-sided. I believe in specificity in that the types of consequential damages that are waived should be detailed in the waiver of consequential damages provision. Standard form construction agreements provide a good template of the types of consequential damages that the parties are agreeing to waive. But, what if there is no specificity in the waiver of consequential damages provision? What if the provision just states that the parties mutually agree to waive consequential damages or that one party waives consequential-type damages against the other party? Let me tell you what would happen. The plaintiff will argue that the damages it seeks are general damages and are NOT waived by the waiver of consequential damages provision. The defendant, on the other hand, will argue that the damages are consequential in nature and, therefore, contractually waived. FOR THIS REASON, PARTIES NEED TO APPRECIATE WHAT DAMAGES ARE BEING WAIVED OR LIMITED, AND POTENTIALLY THOSE DAMAGES NOT BEING WAIVED OR LIMITED, WHEN AGREEING TO A WAIVER OF CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES PROVISION! Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of David Adelstein, Kirwin Norris
    Mr. Adelstein may be contacted at

    US Appeals Court Slams FERC on Long-Muddled State Environmental Permits

    March 27, 2019 —
    What may be the nation’s largest dam removal project—delayed for years by regulatory and legal disputes of a utility, stakeholders and states over licensing and environmental permits—now may have new momentum after a hard-hitting January federal appeals court ruling. Reprinted courtesy of Mary B. Powers, ENR and Debra K. Rubin, ENR Ms. Rubin may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Recording “Un-Neighborly” Documents

    April 03, 2019 —
    In September 2018, in Baumgartner v. Timmins, 245 Ariz. 334, 429 P.3d 567, the Arizona Court of Appeals provided further clarification on what constitutes an “encumbrance” on a property for purposes of Arizona’s statutory scheme prohibiting the recording of “false documents.” The statute, A.R.S. § 33-420, prohibits the recording of documents that a person knows to be forged, are groundless, or that contain material misstatements (or false claims). A person who claims an “interest in, or a lien or encumbrance against” real property who records such documents can be held liable for $5,000 or treble the actual damages caused by the recording (whichever is greater), A.R.S. § 33-420(A), and perhaps even be found guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor, A.R.S. § 33-420(E). At issue in Baumgartner were neighbors fighting about CC&Rs—a typical neighborhood fight. In 2015, some of the neighbors filed suit against the Timminses for violating the CC&Rs. The Timminses did not contest the lawsuit, resulting in a default judgment. In what the Court of Appeals characterized as a lawsuit filed by the Timminses “in apparent response to the [first] lawsuit and resulting default judgment,” the Timminses created, signed, and recorded affidavits contending that the Plaintiffs in the original lawsuit were themselves “in violation of several provisions of the CC&Rs.” The Plaintiffs then filed suit again against the Timminses, this time contending that the Timminses had violated A.R.S. § 33-420 by recording the affidavits because the affidavits, the Plaintiffs contended, created encumbrances on their properties. The Apache County Superior Court agreed, and issued a final judgment nullifying the recorded documents and awarding the Timminses damages, along with their attorneys’ fees and costs. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Bob Henry, Snell & Wilmer
    Mr. Henry may be contacted at

    Unpaid Hurricane Maria Insurance Claims, New Laws in Puerto Rico, and the Lesson for all Policyholders

    January 09, 2019 —
    Puerto Rico’s dire insurance situation more than a year after Hurricane Maria remains a constant reminder of why policyholders must diligently pursue their property and business interruption claims in the immediate aftermath of a storm. The numbers are staggering. On an island the approximate size of Connecticut, Hurricane Maria caused an estimated $100 billion in damage. According to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner of Puerto Rico, the hurricane resulted in more than 287,000 insurance claims. Roughly 11,000 of those claims, representing an estimated $2 billion in losses, remain unresolved. Reprinted courtesy of Walter J. Andrews , Hunton Andrews Kurth and Cary D. Steklof , Hunton Andrews Kurth Mr. Andrews may be contacted at Mr. Steklof may be contacted at Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of

    Hunton Insurance Partner, Larry Bracken, Elected to the American College of Coverage Counsel

    March 04, 2019 —
    Lawrence J. Bracken II, a partner in Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Insurance Coverage practice group, has been elected to the American College of Coverage Counsel (ACCC), which is the preeminent association of U.S. and Canadian lawyers who represent the interests of insurers and policyholders. The ACCC’s mission is to advance the creative, ethical and efficient resolution of insurance coverage and extracontractual disputes; to enhance the civility and quality of the practice of insurance law; to provide peer-reviewed scholarship; and to improve the relationships among the members of our profession. The ACCC engages in a rigorous vetting process prior to inviting a lawyer to become a fellow. ACCC fellows include many of the most prominent members of the insurance law bar. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Michael S. Levine, Hunton Andrews Kurth
    Mr. Levine may be contacted at

    Courts Favor Arbitration in Two Recent Construction Dispute Cases

    November 21, 2018 —
    Recent court decisions have signaled the courts’ proclivity to prefer arbitration over full-fledged litigation when provisions in construction contracts are called into question. While the courts recognize a party’s constitutional right to a jury trial, the courts also lean strongly towards resolving disputes via arbitration as a matter of public policy, especially if a construction contract carves out arbitration as an alternative to litigation. In Avr Davis Raleigh v. Triangle Constr. Co., 818 S.E.2d 184 (N.C. App. 2018), the North Carolina Appeals Court reviewed the issue of whether the contracting parties selected binding arbitration as an alternative to litigation. The contract at issue was an AIA A201-2007 form document. Under the terms of the contract, the parties elected to arbitrate claims under $500,000 but to litigate claims over this amount. However, if there were several claims under $500,000 but the aggregate of all claims exceeded $500,000, then the contract implied that all claims would be arbitrated. Since the claims involved were an amalgamation of the two, the contracting parties disagreed about whether the arbitration provision would apply. The plaintiff interpreted this provision to mean litigation was mandatory when at least one claim exceeded $500,000 and that arbitration was mandatory when no single claim exceeded this amount. In contrast, the defendant interpreted this provision as meaning that when there were several claims worth less than $500,000 individually, but more than $500,000 aggregately, then all claims must be arbitrated. The trial court agreed with the plaintiff’s interpretation. Read the court decision
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    Reprinted courtesy of Jason Plaza, White & Williams LLP